New York Islanders (11-20-7) at Minnesota Wild (20-15-5)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 29, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild -186 / New York Islanders +169 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Islanders look to shake off a loss at home to the Devils last night as they take to the road to face the Minnesota Wild.
The Islanders have been a big disappointment this season and after making a move to acquire Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres to show they were making a push this season the team has played its worst hockey. To add injury to insult it looks as though the team will be without John Tavares for a bit as the ironman of hockey’s consecutive game’s streak ended last night and it is uncertain whether he will be back in the lineup against Minnesota. New York does have some talented players at both ends of the rink but after they dealt Matt Moulson to Buffalo a number of people questioned the team’s leadership off the ice and it has been rumored that the move was very unpopular in the team’s dressing room. New York dropped a 2-1 decision against the Devils last night which came on home ice and now they have to travel to Minnesota to take on one of the best defensive teams in the game against a returning Josh Harding. Yikes.
Minnesota is a team on the rise just a year removed from signing two of the biggest free agents in the pond in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise and while the team’s first year with their new stars was a bit lackluster they are aiming for better things this year. The Wild no question have one of the best blue lines in the game but a large part of their team’s success stems from the play of Josh Harding in the crease as his story to superstardom is one of a kind and truly inspirational. Harding was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the beginning of last year and he has battled symptoms and side effects to remain in the game and he has flourished into one of the best goalies in the NHL and will certainly be up for the Vezina Trophy award. This is a great spot for Minnesota as the Isles are in shambles and could be without their best player whereas the Wild had last night to rest, get their on and off ice inspiration back, and are at home. Puck line please.